THE STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
Address by David D. Henry, President, University of Illinois
THE UBUAW OF THE
MAR 2 3 1 961
UNlViuo.h ur luiinillS
Presented to the Faculties of the University
URBANA, December 3, 1959, 4:00 p.m., University Audi-
torium — Faculty Assembly sponsored by the University
of Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Uni-
CHICAGO, December 8, 1959, 3:00 p.m., Chicago Under-
graduate Division — Faculty Assembly sponsored by the
Chicago Undergraduate Division Chapter of the Ameri-
can Association of University Professors.
CHICAGO, December 9, 1959, 1:00 p.m., Room 221,
Dentistry-Medicine-Pharmacy Building, University of
Illinois, Chicago — Address for faculty and students of
the Chicago Professional Colleges.
Xl(* u^C nl
I. "A University does not live unto itself,
In a message to the alumni in September, I stated that the University
opened the new academic year with a sense of pride in the record just
closed and with confidence that new marks will be established in 1959-60.
It would be appropriate to develop that theme in this State of the
University message — to dwell upon how the quality of the student body has
been improved, how the quality of the faculty has been strengthened and
the morale of the staff reinforced, the ways in which the physical plant has
been extended and the academic program enhanced, the manner in which
the academic reputation of the University has been heightened and the
professional achievements enlarged. A self-scrutiny of the University, from
any view and with any index, reveals good health, good habits, and a whole-
some prospect for continuing strength.
THE PUBLIC CLIMATE AFFECTS UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT
A university does not live within itself, however. Its welfare is a part
of the condition of higher education generally, and of its neighbors in
particular. The public climate which determines the tone and quality of
public services as a whole ultimately controls the development of the col-
leges and universities of a state. Thus, in discussing the State of the
University, particularly in a period of much activity in state planning for
higher education, we may appropriately begin with a review of some of the
factors which in Illinois have a bearing upon the future of this institution.
ILLINOIS ECONOMICALLY ABLE
Illinois is economically able to continue to maintain a first-rate system
of higher education and to meet the future requirements created by the
increase in population and other social factors.
While Illinois as a state ranks among the highest in per capita income,
it ranks among the lowest in per capita expenditure for higher education.
The explanation lies in part in the distribution of the college population
between the private institutions and the state universities, with the smaller
proportion in the latter.
Because some private institutions plan only limited growth, it is prob-
able that per capita expenditures for higher education in Illinois will have
to increase at a rate greater than the rate of increase in college-age popu-
lation. The economic capacity to do so is nowhere questioned.
URBAN POPULATION CONCENTRATED
Although other states have one or two large urban centers, Illinois is
one of the few states where over 50 per cent of its population is concen-
trated in one metropolitan area.
As costs of attending college away from home increase, the demand for
higher education available to commuting students also increases. Thus both
population distribution and economic necessity combine to create a demand
for University service in Chicago, one of the few large cities of the nation
without a comprehensive program of state-supported collegiate education.
A similar problem in other metropolitan areas of Illinois is emerging.
JUNIOR COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT SLOW
Although Illinois was the seat of the first junior college in the United
States, the development of a state-wide junior college service has been
slower than in certain other states. The result is, in view of the population
distribution noted above, an unusually heavy demand for prompt action in
encouraging the establishment and growth of junior colleges.
OTHER NON-COLLEGIATE POST-HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION NEEDED
As the demands for junior college and four-year collegiate education
have backed up, so have the needs for non-collegiate post-high school edu-
cation. With its diversified economy, cultural pluralism, and complex
increasing population, Illinois needs a well-planned and comprehensive
program for education beyond the high school, encompassing more than
junior colleges and expansion of state universities.
MANY ILLINOIS STUDENTS IN OTHER STATES
As a large, populous and prosperous state with an excellent system of
higher education, public and private, Illinois, nonetheless, sends an unusual
number of its young people to institutions in other states. There are over
ten thousand more Illinois students in the public institutions of other states
than come from other states to Illinois public higher institutions.
As the demands upon the services of other states increase, the nature
of student mobility from Illinois may change, and thus add to the pressures
for rapid action in expansion noted above. Illinois will have to be prepared
to care for more of its own youth.
STATE PLANNING NEEDED
In the University of Illinois, the State has concentrated the facilities of
the land-grant institution and the comprehensive state university. Histor-
ically, this concentration of resources has made for good planning and
Illinois is behind many other states in determining whether it will
duplicate the comprehensive state university or whether the expansion of
other institutions will be on the basis of allocated functions, defined in
relationship to the needs of the state as a whole.
In view of the accumulated pressures for expansion and the anticipated
needs, Illinois is tardy in arriving at a decision on a state plan.
STATE HAS TRADITION FOR QUALITY SUPPORT
High standards in the appraisal of higher education by the people of the
State and the popular aspiration to have the best in educational service are
reflected in the attitudes of legislators and State officers, in the financial
support given and in the nonpartisan handling of educational affairs. This
tradition is a tremendously important factor in the health of higher educa-
tion in Illinois, and new plans for institutional relationships should not
weaken or disturb it. Illinois is fortunate, futhermore, in that neither law
nor tradition prevents the State from allocating as much of its income to
higher education as the Legislature and the Governor decide.
ILLINOIS GROWTH A CERTAINTY
A part from population growth, Illinois, as a part of an economically
promising region, is destined to continue to develop. To the existing pro-
ductive resources of the region are added recently the rapid development
of travel by air and transportation by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Both in basic production and in the processing of raw materials, Illinois
plays a unique role in the economy of the entire nation. It is to be assumed
that the State will continue to build a system of higher education com-
mensurate with its economic status.
Against this general setting, in the main encouraging for the long haul,
three climatic issues will have to be dealt with in the period immediately
ahead — and their handling will determine the University's rate of growth
and the adequacy with which its problems are met. They are:
1. The study of unified administration under the auspices of the Illinois
Commission of Higher Education.
2. The development of the Chicago Undergraduate Division.
3. The Universities Bond Issue Referendum in November, 1960.
II. The Study of Unified Administration
The 71st General Assembly, with the approval of the Governor, by
statute directed the Commission of Higher Education "to recommend to the
General Assembly, not later than April 1, 1961, a plan for the unified
administration of all the State controlled institutions of higher education."
Relevant to this instruction are the powers and duties of the Commission
as contained in the act of establishment by the 70th General Assembly:
"to analyze the present and future aims, needs and requirements of higher
education in the State of Illinois; ... to study the role of and the need
for different types of institutions and programs of higher education in the
State of Illinois with other states . . ."
It may be assumed that this action of the Legislature reflects a broad
public interest in the relationships of the universities and in state-wide
planning for the future. It also reflects the citizen concern with the financial
support required to maintain the colleges and universities and to gear up
the educational enterprise to the necessities of the space age, as well as to
meet population increases and increased demands for service. Higher edu-
cation is now an instrument of national defense, international relations,
economic strength, as well as of individual fulfilment. The public expects
from it wise planning, prudent management and efficient utilization of
In previous State of the University addresses, and on other occasions, I
have stressed the need for state-wide planning in higher education in Illinois.
Institutional expansion without professional study of the needs of the State
as a whole or of the potential contributions of all institutions supplying
those needs, public and private, is unwise. Responding to needs of geograph-
ical areas outside of the context of the needs of the State as a whole is an
inefficient way to approach satisfying the total requirements. New develop-
ments in higher education should be based upon a view of what is needed
by the State, as a whole, upon facts, broadly gathered, rather than local
opinions, and upon wide consultation rather than isolated decisions. Further,
there must be adequate machinery for interinstitutional fact finding and
Believing in the need for state planning, representatives of the University
of Illinois encouraged the establishment of the Illinois Commission of
Higher Education. The University has cooperated fully with the Com-
mission in its work. As the Commission undertakes the new studies assigned
to it, the University of Illinois will continue to help in any way possible.
I have indicated to others how we regard the importance of the work of
the Commission by pointing out that the University in its own planning
is dependent upon the answers to questions before the Commission. Should
the University establish new branches? What kinds of new programs should
be started and in what ways should present programs be extended? What
should be the distribution of students, by level of instruction within the
University? The answers to these questions and others like them arrived
at by the University of Illinois working alone cannot be final. They need
to be related to the programs in other institutions, to the development of
junior colleges, and to the needs of the State as a whole for new programs
At this point, it is well to emphasize that the picture of duplication and
conflict among the state universities today is in some ways distorted and
often exaggerated. There has been a considerable degree of coordination
in Illinois by legislation, by decisions of the Governors of the State, by
voluntary cooperation among institutions, and through the Joint Council
on Higher Education. It is true, nonetheless, that the plans of the future
will be less efficient and economical than would exist under the best of
PLANNING NOT DEPENDENT ON UNIFIED ADMINISTRATION
How far Illinois should go beyond state planning into the area of unified
controls of operation is a different question, requiring serious consideration.
How far unified administration is necessary in order to achieve effective
state planning is a central issue. There are real doubts and apprehensions
among professional students of plans of central control and there is honest
division of opinion, both within the State and elsewhere, as to the efficacy
of such arrangements for Illinois. On this subject, there is a large body of
opinion and a relatively small body of experience and fact. The question
must be analyzed, however, the arguments pro and con assessed.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CONCEPT AND OPERATION MUST BE ANALYZED
Coordination as a concept and coordination in a working plan may have
entirely different appraisals. The theoretical advantages of coordination are
obvious and must be accepted as goals in state educational planning. The
machinery of coordination, if not carefully adapted to Illinois problems,
and if not set up to safeguard quality, differences in institutional missions
and operations, and faculty influence upon educational policy may in-
duce outcomes worse than the disadvantages of the present system. There
are dangers in unified controls of multiple institutions, as experience else-
where has shown, and Illinois should make sure that they are not imported
with a new scheme of management. Illinois has reason to be proud of the
standing and achievements of its universities and any new plan should be
measured by the degree to which it will strengthen, enlarge and improve
education for the people of Illinois and by the extent to which it will make
possible a greater contribution to the education of youth, to the develop-
ment of the professions, and to the advancement and dissemination of
knowledge. In a period of enrolment growth, program planning and com-
plicated developments at all institutions, the question of the effects on state
planning of altering present administrative arrangements is one to be
weighed most seriously.
I express the hope, moreover, that our consideration of unified control
or administration will not interfere with our getting on with the job of
coherent state planning which is now possible of achievement within the
present authority of the Illinois Commission of Higher Education.
THE UNIVERSITY HAS UNIQUE CONCERNS
As the Commission has considered the design of its study of unified
administration and conducted its discussions and analyses, I have been
given the opportunity to comment. I have stressed three points concerning
the University of Illinois which should have primary consideration.
1. The University of Illinois is now, in size, scope, and complexity, a
system of higher education exceeding in these characteristics most states
where centralized controls are now in effect. Unlike Michigan, Indiana,
Kansas, and Iowa, in Illinois the land-grant college and comprehensive
state university are combined. (Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, and
Nebraska are other examples of the same pattern.) Thus, in the University
of Illinois there exists now a coordinated operation for the largest part of
public higher education in the State. This historical fact should be taken
into account in any consideration of a different plan.
2. While the University of Illinois shares the function of undergraduate
instruction with other state universities, private colleges, junior colleges, and
private universities, it stands alone in the variety and extent of professional
education, graduate work, research, and public service.
Over 20,000 undergraduates are now enroled on the three campuses, and
these enrolments will increase markedly at all locations in the years ahead.
On this point, however, our problems are not unique except in the concen-
tration of large numbers — a potential 20,000 in Chicago in ten years, if
facilities are available, over 20,000 undergraduates in Champaign-Urbana
in the same period. Thus each of these two campuses may be seen in size
of undergraduate numbers the equivalent of several institutions combined.
Nonetheless, while the problems of space and instruction for these enrol-
ments are enormous, they can be approached in the same manner as are
similar problems at other institutions of the State.
But in the range of its research and service functions, and in the scope
of its advanced professional and graduate education the University of
Illinois is unique in the State.
In advanced professional work, we need only list law, veterinary medi-
cine, medicine, pharmacy, and the graduate year professional programs in
engineering, commerce, teacher education, and agriculture to indicate the
University's concentration of advanced training.
In graduate work, the University of Illinois is one of the nation's all
too few great centers. Among all American universities during recent years,
Illinois has ranked among the first five in numbers of Ph.D. degrees
In research, more people are engaged (over 700 on a full-time equivalent
basis) than comprise the total academic staffs of many major universities
in the country. This group is largely supported by funds from contracts,
grants, and gifts, an amount now exceeding 12 million dollars per year.
In its public services, the University is also unique in scope and nature.
Agriculture and general extension carry knowledge into practical applica-
tions in every county in the State. Clinics — speech, dental, medical, veter-
inary — to cite a few — annually serve hundreds of thousands. Short
courses and conferences enrol thousands more. Over 2,000 are enroled in
correspondence instruction. The Division of Services for Crippled Children
has a case load of over 11,000. Publications, books, pamphlets, monographs
reach a vast audience. Radio and television broadcasting, the counseling of
the Small Homes Council, the services of the largest educational film
1 Index to American Doctoral Dissertations, Dissertation Abstracts, Vol. 18, No. 7,
University Microfilm, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1959.
library in the nation — through these and many other channels, the Uni-
versity educationally serves the citizens of Illinois in countless ways, of
infinite value to them as individuals and to the state community. In a
massive way, the work of the University of Illinois has contributed to the
economic welfare, the public health, the general quality of life and work
in this State. The kind of university Illinois has been has had a bearing on
the kind of state community which has developed — in manufacturing, in
agriculture, in business, in cultural affairs, in schools, and in public affairs.
The purpose in stressing these unique contributions of the University of
Illinois is that they cannot be as readily measured as prospective enrolments.
Children on their way to the campuses can be counted; unborn ideas and
the effect of the absence of service or a limitation on professional training
cannot be calculated; the failure to train enough scientists and college
teachers cannot readily be put on a graph.
Quality and productivity of the University are influenced greatly by how
the University is organized and how it operates. The present standards and
achievements must be preserved and enhanced.
3. My third point of emphasis before the Commission is not unique at
the University of Illinois, but it has special concern for us.
In a statement to the Commission, 1 I said: "The relationships between
faculty and administration in the several universities must be carefully
assessed. Quality in our universities is determined by our faculties, and the
part that faculty action must have in the government of our institutions is
a vital part of any consideration of unified control. An analysis of current
responsibilities of the faculties should be at hand for the use of any study
Later, I made the additional point that organized faculties should be
heard in the appraisal process.
The point I originally made, however, goes beyond a procedure for
appraisal of the Commission's recommendation. The nature and scope of
faculty government in institutions at present, and its place in each proposed
alternate plan, should have careful assessment.
By tradition, practice, and specific statute, the University of Illinois now
operates in a manner in which the faculty has a fundamental responsibility
in the educational policy determination of the institution. We believe the
existence of this tradition has had a bearing upon the general excellence
of the University of Illinois. Some measure of this element, as it applies to
administration and organization, should certainly find its way into the basic
considerations of the Commission study.
1 Faculty Letter, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, September 8, 1959.
In summary, on this point, in representing the University in its relation-
ships with the Commission of Higher Education, we have stressed the
importance of state planning and have cooperated in all efforts to promote
this objective. We have given professional counsel when requested and
readily supplied information about the operation of the University. A
delegate from the Board of Trustees attends all meetings of the Commission.
Five major studies have been conducted, or are in process, by staff members
of the University, in addition to three formal presentations by the President
and continuing committee participation by six others. The University has
refrained from recommending development of branches and other major
innovations, pending the creation of a state plan. I have also expressed
willingness to present our plans for expansion to the Commission as a part
of the appraisal process.
In our relationship with the Commission, even in expressing our con-
cern for the preservation of the unique features of the University of Illinois
and apprehension over certain aspects of unfied administration, we have
tried to act with professional candor and objectivity. We have taken the
position that the organization of the University is public business; that the
University staff should offer counsel, appraisal, reports of experience, even
opinions, but that they should not become the voice of an action program,
pro or con. Further, we are mindful that when the tentative recommenda-
tions of the Commission are before us at some future point, both the Uni-
versity faculty and the Board of Trustees must then be free, without prior
commitment, to give their best judgment on what is good for the University
of Illinois and the people of the State.
Within this pattern of relationships, we shall continue to cooperate with
the Commission in the important work assigned to it.
III. The Chicago Undergraduate Division
The establishment of a division of the University of Illinois on a perma-
nent campus in the Chicago area is an old subject. Proposed in the first
year of the University's existence, the idea was discussed intermittently, but
abstractly, until 1946 when the return of veterans from World War II
required unprecedented action. The Chicago Undergraduate Division was
then established and located in leased space on Navy Pier. The Division
is now regarded by the University, the Chicago community, and the State
as a permanent unit of the University of Illinois to serve commuting stu-
dents in the Chicago area.
The educational facilities — sixty-eight classrooms, thirty-three labora-
tories, and a library of 85,000 volumes — are housed in the first and part of
the second level of the north wing of Navy Pier. At present, 4,067 students
are enroled. Since its origin, the Division has enroled over 65,000 students
in regular or summer sessions. The University has provided these young
people of the Chicago area with a sound educational program in the first
two years of liberal arts and sciences, engineering (including architecture
and art), commerce and business administration, and physical education.
Unfortunately severe physical limitations handicap the present work and
pose greater difficulties for the future. The maximum enrolment possible
in Navy Pier facilities is 4,500, a number which will be reached by Septem-
ber, 1960 or 1961. In succeeding years, many prospective students will
be turned away.
In its present location, the University shares its space with activities
which discourage effective teaching. Foreign and domestic freighters dock
along the south wing; trucks rumble up and down, switch engines and box
cars pound their way in and out. Thousands of visitors annually tramp
their way through conventions, trade fairs, and exhibitions housed in the
upper level, on occasion preempting educational space. Too, the facilities,
which were not ideal even in 1946, have deteriorated, and major rehabilita-
tion has not taken place in light of the continuing prospect that the Uni-
versity would be removed from its Pier location. The University and the
City of Chicago have been hesitant to make long-term investments in im-
provements for educational use which would be of no value once the move
from Navy Pier is completed. Further, as the City prepares the Pier for
heavy seaway traffic, the conditions resulting from construction have be-
come nearly intolerable for students and faculty. These factors explain the
urgency with which the University regards the need for relocation and alone
justify a move now, if one were possible. This urgency is compounded by
the impending greatly increased enrolment demand.
TIME TABLE PLANNED
Present plans call for development of the Chicago campus in several
stages. The first is for buildings to house the two-year programs currently
offered on Navy Pier. This stage is to be completed by 1963, enlarging
enrolment capacity to 6,000. The second stage is establishment of four-year
degree programs in a limited number of fields of instruction, with courses
to be added as soon after 1963 as physical facilities and operational funds
can be made available. As the need for additional courses arises, and as
soon thereafter as the proper physical facilities and staff can be provided,
in consultation with the Illinois Commission of Higher Education and the
other institutions concerned, extensions of existing curricula or additional
ones will be offered.
The Board of Trustees, members of the administrative staff and com-
mittees of the faculty have given these plans continuous attention and have
worked perseveringly for action. Funds for planning have been made
available and it is agreed that appropriations for capital structures will be
a part of the regular University requests to the General Assembly as needed
to implement plans. As with all other building plans of the University, the
Chicago development will be affected by the outcome of the bond issue,
but campus and building plans must go forward so that time will not be
lost when appropriations become available.
Procuring a site has been a troublesome issue. The Board of Trustees
has been wrestling with the problem for over four years. Although the
Trustees preferred a west suburban location, they acknowledged the interest
of the City of Chicago in having the campus within the city and agreed
to accept such a site if one could be made available within the time schedule
noted above and at no greater cost than that required for the suburban site.
The city sites then studied were Northerly Island, on the Lake front,
Garfield Park, and the area which would be released by the proposed con-
solidation of railroad terminals. Of the three, it has been the judgment of
the Trustees that only the Garfield Park site could be made ready for occu-
pancy by 1963. Planning for the utilization of that site has been authorized
and is underway. If there is any new information in the recently announced
report from the Mayor's office which would justify a change in that judg-
ment, the Board of Trustees will consider it promptly. There is no reserve in
the time estimate for planning and construction, however, and any interrup-
tion in planning, even for a short period, will result in passing the opening
of the academic year and a delay in occupancy of at least twelve months.
It is to be emphasized that while 1963 is not the peak year in enrolment
demands, the capacity of Navy Pier will be exceeded before that year; that
conditions are now unsatisfactory, even for the present enrolment; and
finally, that the new campus must be occupied and organized before expan-
sion into degree programs is possible. Even now, that expansion is barely
possible in time for the accelerated growth.
CHICAGO UNDERGRADUATE DIVISION AFFECTS GENERAL PLAN
These developments in Chicago are of concern to the University as a
whole. If the balanced program and related distribution of students at
Champaign-Urbana, recommended by the Future Programs Committee
and discussed at length in the State of the University address of a year ago,
are to be attained, the Chicago Undergraduate plans must be fulfilled.
The Chicago campus serves many students who would not attend the
Champaign-Urbana campus, but there is some overlap.
The University will continue to enrol large numbers of freshmen and
sophomores, both in Chicago and at Champaign-Urbana, but the greatest
growth at this level will take place in Chicago. Any delay in the Chicago
development will mean an interruption of orderly planning for the Univer-
sity as a whole, including a better balance among levels of instruction at
Champaign-Urbana, and a limitation upon the educational opportunities
to be made available by the University of Illinois in the area of the State
where over half its people live.
I cannot overemphasize how urgent it is that the University's time table
be met. We are already three years late. The Board of Trustees has done
everything within its power to proceed in a business-like fashion to meet
this problem squarely and with due regard to the welfare of the entire Uni-
versity, the needs for higher education in Chicago and in the State. No
Board of Trustees of the University has had a more complex task than
selecting a site for the Chicago Undergraduate Division and solving the
problems involved in successful action on a time schedule which will allow
a reasonable continuation of service. They should be heartily commended
for their devotion to this objective.
IV. The 1960 Bond Issue Referendum
This year is the third in which the subject of a bond issue referendum
and its meaning to the University of Illinois has been before us.
In 1957, I stated that the proposal for a bond issue to create a fund for
state buildings, was a practical proposal to supplement existing appropria-
tions with borrowed funds for the purpose of accelerating the building
program, that it was a sound proposal to enable the state to pay for build-
ings while they were being used and at current prices, and that it would
also give the State a little longer time to work out an improved revenue
structure for both operating and capital budgets.
In 1958, I reported the results of the election. The referendum was
endorsed by a majority of those voting, but the plurality was not sufficient to
overcome the failure of 689,393 people who voted in the general election to
mark the bond issue ballot. Had one-half of these voters marked their
ballots on the bond issue and divided evenly the referendum would have
carried. It is both ironic and tragic that the fate of our universities should
be determined by those not voting!
I also reported a year ago that the building needs of the University
remained exactly as they were before the election, that they were serious,
and that only prompt and effective action by the legislature could prevent
a deterioration in quality of service and a failure to meet rising enrolments
and other mounting obligations.
In preparing the capital budget for 1959-61, the University had before
it the thorough analysis made by the Building Program Committee for the
decade 1959-1969. The needs there outlined were of two kinds — those
which would help the University to catch up with accumulated space and
facilities deficits and those anticipated for future requirements. From this
inventory, only the immediately urgent were selected for inclusion in the
request for the current biennium. These amounted, in cost estimates, to
$54,879,000 for the three campuses.
Of this budget request, the sum finally allowed was limited to $14 million.
The $14 million was allocated to site acquisition and site planning for the
Chicago Undergraduate Division, plans for buildings on all campuses,
matching gifts and grants for three small structures, remodeling for emer-
gency space relief or to meet fire and safety standards, limited local public
improvement, and enlarging the utilities system. But even these appropria-
tions have been "frozen," since it will not be known for some time the
extent to which state revenues will be available to finance them, and the
present prospect for their release is not bright. Thus, not only will major
new academic buildings not be started in this biennium; even the self-
liquidating "fee" buildings — dormitories, student service and health service
quarters, and the Union addition — will be held up for lack of utilities.
Some students will be turned away in 1961 because of lack of facilities;
the most critical need is for staff offices. The earliest the next major aca-
demic facility may be occupied is four years from now — assuming building
appropriations are made and financed in the legislative session of 1961,
and they will have to be three times as large as those made in any biennium
in the last decade to prevent restrictions in present academic programs.
Equally serious, in terms of the efficiency of on-going operation, funds for
remodeling, land-acquisition, and alterations to meet unanticipated develop-
ments are not available.
In short, at a time when we face great increases in enrolment (and the
facts of population increase are common knowledge), we must prepare for
restricting that enrolment. At a time when there is a crying need for an
increase in specialized and professional training in all fields, we are obliged
to set limits. At a time when the economy of the state and the welfare of
the nation call out for more and more research in the fundamental fields
of knowledge, we are obliged to discourage faculty members from seeking
outside funds because there is no adequate space in which to do the work.
It is my unhappy duty to say to you that we are not ready at the Uni-
versity of Illinois for the demands which confront us and which the people
of the State have every reason to assume we should be ready to fulfil. A
new campus for the Chicago Undergraduate Division, new facilities and
remodeling for the Research and Educational Hospitals and the Chicago
Professional Colleges and a long list of basic requirements for the Urbana
campus, add up to major issues for the people of Illinois.
Proud as we are of what has been done in the past, we must seek public
understanding of the great needs now upon us. Only prompt and un-
precedented action can prevent a limitation of educational opportunity or
a dimunition of quality of educational service or both. There is not much
time to head off a critical situation. We have lost the time margin for
normal planning and development. Urgency is now upon us. Those who
hoped that a bond issue would not be necessary now have the fact of present
inadequacies before them. There is no reason to assume the next meeting
of the legislature will be able to meet this problem. Indeed, it is doubtful
if any legislature should be encouraged to seek recurring tax revenues for
these essentially non-recurring requirements, at least non-recurring in their
present proportions. The accumulated necessities require unusual handling.
A business enterprise borrows capital to meet its expansion requirements,
and then pays for the expansion as the plant is used. The public must
consider the application of this plan to the universities.
A bond issue proposal will again be on the ballot in 1960. Many issues
other than the needs of the University will be involved. However, the
point must be driven home that the future of the University will be greatly
affected by the outcome. This fact must be more carefully weighed and
better understood than it was in the last referendum.
The referendum on the bond issue in 1960 will be a climactic opportunity
for the people of Illinois to express themselves about the future of higher
education in this state. Without the success of that referendum, the road
ahead will be uncertain and the travel slow, with the risk that at the very
time this state should be preparing for its great future we shall mark time
or lose ground. I see no other alternative before us in supplying the need
for an accelerated building program for our state colleges and universities.
In the year ahead I hope that all of us will take every opportunity to make
this point clear.
The task of interpreting the needs of the University and the relationship
of the bond issue referendum to fulfilling those needs falls upon all of us.
While organizational machinery has been formed — including internal and
interinstitutional staff committees, the job will get done only by a marshal-
ling of the interest of all members of the university family and of all citizen
leaders of the state who are concerned about the issues which are here
outlined. The normal channels of communication are not adequate to
achieve the widespread popular understanding which must prevail for a
favorable response to the referendum.
A bond issue is not a popular device. "Pay as you go" is a popular if
misleading slogan. An appeal to fear of increased taxes is persuasive. Long-
range needs are remote from the concerns of every day. Other issues in
the election of 1960 will be distracting. Since the vote will be larger than
in 1958, the majority required will be larger. The opposition will be in-
tensified. We have as allies in the cause, however, the belief of the people
in educational opportunity and the tradition of this State for quality and
scope in educational service. If faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents —
and the parents of the children on the way to the campuses of the state —
unite in the greatest interpretive effort ever put forth on a public question
in Illinois, the issue can be won. The experience in California, New York,
New Jersey, North Carolina point the way. Illinois is no less able and no
When we speak of space needed for new enrolments, we mean rooms,
chairs, desks, beds, laboratory benches, libraries. Beyond these basic require-
ments, however, is the fact that more than ever before facilities are a
factor in achieving excellence — facilities to enable distinguished faculty to
do their work, facilities to enable students to be taught properly. In the
complex teaching and investigation of today, laboratories, libraries, offices,
seminars and lecture rooms are the essential tools of the faculty. While a
university is its people, their work can be first rate only when they have the
means with which to do work of quality.
These generalizations are not contested. Our task is to give them mean-
ing in the consciousness of the people as they consider the bond issue ques-
tion. They must know that the alternative to prompt and greatly increased
financial support is to turn away thousands of young people who are on
their way to the campuses of the public universities of the state and to
suspend program and research growth until we find a way to get on with the
job. To those who say "Pay as you go," we can only respond that the wel-
fare of our colleges and universities in their service to the people should not
be an instrument of strategy for tax reform, that our institutions should
not be hurt, or their doors closed even part way or educational opportu-
nities be limited while tax reform is debated. In the failure of the last
referendum, two years were lost in preparing for the needs here outlined.
There is no more time to spare.
Our choice seems to be at this moment in our history, accelerated ex-
penditures on higher education by the means now suggested, or a condition
of education and research limited in a way that will have serious repercus-
sions in our economy, our health, our defense, and our citizen morale.
V. The Real Competition
After working with two General Assemblies of Illinois, and participating
in numerous meetings of citizens, alumni, parents, and on many other
occasions throughout the State over the past four years, I want to say as
directly as I know how that the University is in a serious competition for
the interested attention of the people of Illinois. Unless we have that
attention, we shall not have the kind of support given in the past or
accelerated for the needs of the present and future.
By attention, I do not mean the passing interest given to current events
or public occasions. I refer to a continuing personal concern for the welfare
of the University, an abiding feeling of the direct relationship between what
the University stands for and what it does and the individual welfare of the
citizen, his family, and of his community. Widespread personal commitment
by citizens to work for the advancement of the University is needed to have
the University grow in the strength needed for the tasks ahead.
Our competition is not with the programs and activities of other uni-
versities. It is with all the things that claim the citizen's attention and with
which he is daily confronted — his concern with public expenditures and
taxes, with inflation, with national defense, with highways and local civic
services, with appeals for private charity, with job opportunities, with in-
creased costs of living, with political issues, with his health, recreation, and
personal growth and his family's well-being.
In the current discussions of the problems of higher education, there is
the easy generalization that the public institutions will somehow or other
pick up the additional load, both in students and in the other demands
upon them. That public institutions are eager and willing to continue the
great tradition for which they were established there is no doubt, but that
their capacity to carry this historic role will require more support than has
yet been measured is not generally understood.
It is not enough that people applaud the idea of educational opportunity
and high standards of performance as a means to economic progress and
international strength; it is essential that ways and means be found to pay
for them. ". . . Perhaps the greatest problem facing American education
today is the widely held view that all we require are a few more teachers,
a few more buildings, a little more money. Such an approach will be
disastrous. We are moving into the most demanding era in our history.
An educational system grudgingly and tardily patched to meet the needs of
the moment will be perpetually out of date. We must build for the future
in education as daringly and aggressively as we have built other aspects of
our national life in the past." 1
It has been said that educational institutions reach the summits of
greatness only by long and arduous efforts. This thought is comforting in
suggesting that temporary defeats and discouragements are not controlling
in the ultimate destiny. Any experienced observer will attest, however, that
the lag of a year is a drag for a decade and the slowdown of even a short
period can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence.
The period immediately ahead is one of great decision for Illinois. The
needs outlined here are not, in a sense, the needs of an institution; they
are needs of a State for the fulfilment of a great role of leadership and
achievement. Usually, growth and progress, in the history of an institution
or a state are determined by the cumulative effect of many small decisions.
Such a pace will not suffice in the matters now before us. I have confidence
that with the continuing professional dedication of the faculty and staff,
with the understanding and help of the Board of Trustees, with the respect
and faith of the people of Illinois, the University will continue to grow in
stature and strength and we shall remember these days as among the greatest
in the record of our time.
1 The Rockefeller Report, The Pursuit of Excellence, Education and the Future
of America. Panel Report V . . . Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New
York. 1958. p. 33.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA
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